Floral thrones, of course

Prepare to be amazed. And potentially a little bit bemused. This post will show you flower arranging at its greatest, quite where the inspiration comes for these fabulous creations I’m not sure, but it was great to wander amongst them and admire them in the Pavilion at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

A row of floral thrones at the 2018 chelsea flower show
hearts and crowns on this floral throne from RHS Chelsea 2018

I like the yellows and purples of the one above, as well as its heart-shaped addition at the top of the back. Imagine if you were to sit on this (and I’m not sure I’d advise that) the heart would be just above your crown, because of course you’d have to be wearing a crown, wouldn’t you? In fact the one below, has an evergreen crown woven into its bold design.

bright yellows, oranges and pinks on this floral throne at rhs chelsea

What is amazing is the variations among them. The flamboyance and the variety of colours and approaches used. The one below has a more practical solution for its occupant to avoid a flower squishing situation, although I’m not convinced it would be any more comfortable.

pink flowers of almost every type in this floral throne

I remember being amazed at the number of entries, and while the theme was floral thrones, the armchair version was a favourite.

More of an armchair covered in flowers than a throne
A canopied throne at the Chelsea Flower Show

The canopied version was much more regal, and I loved the colours of its flowers.

Pastel blooms for the final floral throne from last year's chelsea flower show

And it just goes to show that with a few logs from the garden and plenty of imagination, we all could have something just as spectacular, although in my case I think I’d settle for colourful as I’m not sure I could match any of this magnificence.

Hands up, whose garden will be supporting a floral throne this summer?

Foxgloves on Friday

Well, why not? Since I spotted some growing in my succulents, which isn’t as painful as it sounds, I’ve been fixated on foxgloves. Remembering those I saw at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show I thought it was about time those from the Botanic Nursery, had an airing here. It looks as if the ones below are clambering towards the top of the pavilion last May. I think it’s mostly the angle though, that and trying (and failing, it seems) to get as much foxglove as I could into a single shot.

Foxgloves at Chelsea

I didn’t do any better getting these into the shot either. But I’m forgiving myself for their creamy yellowness, which starts from the fresh lime green.

Foxgloves and a poppy or two too

When you think foxgloves, I’m sure we all think fairly similar. But in the photo above there’s the traditional downward facing bell (the white ones in the background), the creamy yellow in the foreground which is more horizontal and the more flowery purple stems. That messes with our ideals doesn’t it? Thankfully they’re all pretty, so I think they can get away with it.

Pink digitalis at the chelsea flower show

My favourite though are the ones that has the speckled landing strip for bees. And they’re the ones that are most like the ones in my garden, which is lucky isn’t it?

An abundance of alliums

Sssshhhh, it’s almost starting to feel a little spring-like. From my desk I can see daffodils bobbing away in the wind, which at times has been a bit too windy to really be spring, but even so, I’m amazed by the number of people that stop and take a photo of them. Perhaps it’s because they edge a busy road into Greenwich town centre and are unexpected, or perhaps like me people are just welcoming signs of spring.

In my garden my snowdrops are out in full force and while we’re a while away from alliums, when I spotted these photos from my visit to the Chelsea Flower Show last May, I knew it was time to share them here, as a reminder that we will have alliums again in a couple of months.

Layers of alliums in the pavilion at chelsea

I can’t help but like alliums. They clamber for our attention, growing on their single tall stems and then burst in a ball of fluffiness. Since I’ve learnt they’ll grow in our garden, I think I’ve liked them even more. I have them planted alongside the patio and if I’m honest it’s not the best soil, or even the deepest but like so many other plants they do their best and I’m grateful for that.

standing tall and in rows

Every year when they start to flower, I remember how striking they are and then wonder why I’ve not bought and planted more. I really should.

Of course in autumn, the last thing I’m thinking about is alliums, but again I really should, as that’s when they need planting.

pale pink alliums

I’m sure though that I’d be bamboozled by the variety and choice available and if you need a visual representation of how that might look, just look below.

these alliums seem to have gone somewhat awry

The alliums in the pavilion at Chelsea are always on my route, even if I have to track them down, which honestly isn’t a problem or even that hard. They’re the type of plant that really has impact, even when they’re a little bit haywire, or sputnik-like.

These alliums are less spherical than we're used to
alliums with a touch of thistle about them

Or it seems, trying to camouflage themselves as thistles, although I do quite like these, what do you think?